Short-game wizard Thaworn soars

Fri 13 Sep 2013

Short-game wizard Thaworn soars

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Taipei, September 13: Thai legend Thaworn Wiratchant showcased his short-game prowess when he seized the second round lead with a five-under-par 67 at the US$500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) on Friday.
Thaworn, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, overcame his poor iron shots with a master class display around the greens at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
He leads by one-shot on eight-under-par 136 from Asian Development Tour (ADT) graduate Hsu Mong-nan (68) of Chinese Taipei and India’s Chiragh Kumar, who battled to a 69 despite struggling with a flu.
Asian Tour Qualifying School winner Chan Kim of the United States carded a flawless 68 to sit in fourth position on 138 while Tim Stewart of Australia was a further shot back at the Yeangder TPC, which is staged on the Asian Tour Schedule for the fourth
Hsu Mong-nan of Chinese Taipei Hsu Mong-nan of Chinese Taipei
consecutive year.
Overnight leader Thitiphun Chuayprakong of Thailand slipped down the leaderboard to tied ninth after shooting a disappointing 76.
Thaworn, winner of the Yeangder TPC in 2010, sank a 10-foot eagle putt on the first hole and continued to soar with an impeccable short-game which earned the admiration from playing partner Jonathan Moore of the United States, who shot a disappointing 75.
“I hit about four greens but I was saved by my chipping and putting. Jonathan said he was watching a US$100,000 short game golf clinic,” smiled the 46-year-old Thaworn, who holds an unprecedented 15 Asian Tour titles.
“There hasn’t been any rain lately so the greens are hard. Some players find it hard to play here but I like playing on this course. I won’t say that I have a good chance to win yet because my irons are not where I want it to be,” said Thaworn, who holed a 19-yard chip-in birdie on 11.
Kumar, who has been struggling with a flu since day one, fuelled his ambitions of winning a first Asian Tour title with a solid 69. The Indian was delighted to rediscover some of his best form after struggling with an ankle injury last season.
“I just hope to continue my form. I’m going back to rest now because I don’t have any energy to practice. My ankle is alright now but hopefully the pain won’t come back,” said Kumar, who rose to prominence when he finished second at the 2011 Indian Open.
Chiragh Kumar of India Chiragh Kumar of India
Hsu burst into contention with one eagle, four birdies against two bogeys to lead the local charge. The lanky 39-year-old said he is aiming for a victory or a solid finish this week to retain his Asian Tour card which he earned by finishing second on the ADT Order of Merit last year.
“I’m beginning to feel the pressure of playing on the Asian Tour now. The players here are really good. There have been lots of ups and downs this season but hopefully, I can finish well so that I can stay inside the top-60 of the Order of Merit,” said Hsu.
Tour rookie Chan battled to a bogey-free round after saving pars with 15 and 20 footer putts on holes 15 and 17 respectively.
“I hit some bad chips but was fortunate to save par. My game feels really good so I’m pretty confident heading into the last two days,” said the Korean-American Chan.
Defending champion Gaganjeet Bhullar bounced back with a 69 for tied ninth. The Indian stands a chance to qualify for the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October if he can remain in the top-two position on the Order of Merit before the cut-off date on October 14.
The halfway cut at the Yeangder TPC was set at four-over-par 148 with a total of 77 players advancing into the weekend rounds.
Scores after round 2 of the Yeangder TPC being played at the par 72, 7125 Yards Linkou GCC course (a- denotes amateur):
136 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 69-67.
137 - HSU Mong-nan (TPE) 69-68, Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 68-69.
138 - Chan KIM (USA) 70-68.
139 - Timothy STEWART (AUS) 70-69.
140 - YEH Wei-tze (TPE) 73-67.
141 - Berry HENSON (USA) 71-70, Adam GROOM (AUS) 69-72.
142 - Sam BRAZEL (AUS) 68-74, LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 72-70, CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) 71-71, Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 71-71, Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) 66-76, BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 73-69, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 73-69, Richard T. LEE (CAN) 74-68, Matthew STIEGER (AUS) 69-73, Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 69-73.
143 - KIM Gi-whan (KOR) 67-76, Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 71-72, LU Wei-chih (TPE) 74-69.
Chan Kim of USA Chan Kim of USA
144 - Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 70-74, Marcus BOTH (AUS) 72-72, LU Chien-soon (TPE) 72-72, Mithun PERERA (SRI) 73-71, Darren BECK (AUS) 71-73, SUNG Mao-chang (TPE) 70-74, LIN Keng-chi (TPE) 72-72, Rory HIE (INA) 72-72, Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 71-73, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 71-73, Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) 70-74.
Ends.
About the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship
The Yeangder TPC is the brainchild of Yeangder Group Chairman Mr. Emmet Hsu. An avid golfer himself, he holds his own on the fairways as well as the boardroom. Mr. Hsu is a strong supporter for golf in Chinese Taipei and across the region. Apart from sponsoring the Yeangder TPC, Mr. Hsu also sponsors the Yeangder ADT and supports the leading Chinese Taipei players including Lin Wen-tang, Chan Yih-shin, Lin Wen-hong and Chan Shih-chang.
Inaugurated in 2010, the prize purse for the Yeangder TPC has grown from US$300,000 to US$500,000. The Yeangder TPC is a popular stop on the Asian Tour Schedule and it has welcomed many worthy champions such as Thaworn Wiratchant (2010), Lu Wei-chih (2011) and Ganganjeet Bhullar (2013).
The Yeangder Group has pledged to sponsor the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) on the Asian Tour for a further three years until 2015.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.